Living in a house, paying $900 a month. Nine hundred dollars doesn’t seem like much for rent… crazy. Each month I could have bought 112 Chipotle burritos, or our stove set, solar panel, battery, and heater with $250 to spare. 4 months rent is enough for a used Scamp.  Nine hundred dollars goes a long way, now that we live in the future.



Food is the next obvious hemorrhage. Living in the city, working a lot, commuting 30 minutes a day, there is no time for food. I would typically skip breakfast, and eat lunch out. A typical lunch is $12, that’s $60 a week, $240 a month. Now that I know how to fuel my body, $240 buys a months food for two.



I had the Scoop, still do. Buying new cars is generally a bad idea. A great car can be had for < $10k. Financed for 5 years brings it to ~$200 a month. This is an expense I still bleed every month, but my car is nearly paid off. The ideal solution here is to buy a car that will last. Subaru and Honda are wise buys. I went with “the Scoop” (Mini cooper S) because it was the most ideal car for me less than $12,000. Good gas mileage, plenty of power, low mileage, made by BMW. It was also the last production year of the first body style, giving the factory time to work out kinks. I love it, though this is one of the more frivolous purchases I have made. I could have gotten something cheaper to own, but the daily thrill of having a fun car is worth the exchange to me. And it’s worked out, the Scoop has been a champion, yanking the Scamp through snowy peaks and sandy mountains. Long story short, the ideal car is situational, buy used, and buy one that will last beyond the 5 year loan.



Trendy style in the city is expensive to chase. Don’t subscribe to the bullshit. Buy the best gear, and buy it used. My clothing kit (from outside layers in):



  • A quality rain jacket. Great for layering. Keep wind and water out. Zipper pockets and hood are a must.
  • Down puffy. Stupid warm. Pack small. Hood and pockets here too. If it’s dank out, rain-shell goes over top.
  • Two Good flannels. Super versatile. Look cool, protect the neck, more pockets.
  • Merino wool hoodie. Takes forever to stink. Not too hot, not too cold.
  • Merino wool T shirts. Never stink, look cool, soft on the skin. Air it out if it gets rank.
  • Good tank top. I have a Black Diamond one I wear all the time, not sure why.
  • Mountain biking gloves. Great liners, dry quickly.
  • Warm waterproof gloves.
  • Beanie.
  • Quality hat. I have a 5 panel I really dig.



  • Joggers. Mine have a zipper pocket, a cargo pocket, and the regulars. Stretchy crotch, durable material, good fit.
  • Sweatpants. I like them tight so I can use them as a layer when leggings won’t cut it.
  • Durable hiking pant. Quick drying, zipper pockets, lightweight, stretchy.
  • Merino wool socks. I know. Wool socks in the heat sounds dumb, but the thin, ankle ones are great in the summer.
  • Waterproof boots. For snow and rain. Beware, if water gets in, waterproof boots dry slowly.
  • General purpose running shoes. I like minimalist ones. My hips hurt less when I use the balls of my feet to absorb shock.
  • Sandals of some sort. Chaco’s are great.
  • Swimming trunks. Whatever floats your boat or finds your lost remote.
  • Durable shorts. Utilitarian pockets, lightweight, stretchy.


Less quantity, more quality. The right gear can be worn everyday for years.